Trump Claims He and Chinese President Xi Jinping Are Working Hard to End the Trade War. But Who’s Playing Who?


David A. Andelman, visiting scholar at the Center on National Security at Fordham Law, wrote an op-ed for NBC News about the trade war between the United States and China.

The Chinese may finally be getting inside Donald Trump’s head. Perhaps it’s the listening they’ve allegedly been doing on his most private thoughts as he reportedly unburdens himself on his unsecured cell phones to his besties, like Fox’s Sean Hannity. Leaders in China denied The New York Times scoop, but noted that if the U.S. president is worried about eavesdropping, he should use a Chinese-made Huawei. Well played, Beijing.


If Chinese agents really are listening in, there’s no end of places where they could make use of that insight in what is fast becoming a serious battle between the world’s two largest economies.

On Thursday, Trump tweeted that he and Xi had spoken over the phone, and that “discussions are moving along nicely.” With tariffs already beginning to bite on both sides of the Pacific, particularly in stock exchanges in the U.S. and China, Thursday’s conversation suggests that there may be some dawning sense of just how profound the stakes are in a whole host of areas concerning the two countries.

And in what feels like an effort to further isolate the United States from its traditional friends and allies in the region, China embarked in October on some major naval exercises with 10 nations that border the South China Sea, keeping the U.S. at bay.

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